Sunday 29 August 2010

Burda 05/2010 103 Shirred dress

Despite all my whining about Burda there are still some hidden gems in there. I suspect most of them stay hidden to me thanks to the sometimes crazy photography and styling, but I think I have unearthed another winner of a dress in the May issue.

This is dress 103 also available as a tunic (104). Burda used lined chiffon but I made mine in a silk print which I left unlined. I made a 38 with no alterations - yippee - the only part where this dress is fitted is elasticated so it's easy to fit.

I made a couple of minor changes - I left off the sleeve bands simply because I liked the look without them for this particular fabric. (The underarm is quite low though so if that bothers you then the drapy sleeves will help). Instead of the self ties in the back I added a few rows of shirring in the centre to match the front of the dress.

I should add that I didn't use Burda's method of zig zagging over the shirring elastic and instead wound it onto a bobbin and used my machine. If I make this again I will join the bodice and skirt seams before doing the shirring because using my shirring method makes it a bit awkward to do the seam afterwards per the instructions.

Since my dress is unlined I had to finish the v neckline somehow and used a strip of fabric to make a binding - I'm really happy with how this turned out. I found this Burdastyle tutorial for a knit binding really helpful to explain how to get the nice v. My method was slightly different since I was doing a narrow silk finish - I used a single layer strip and slipstitched it by hand to the inside neckline before doing the mitre stage. I hope this will make sense when you see their tutorial. Also amazingly for Burda I didn't find the neckline too low on this one.

This is a bit more of a girly dress than I am used to wearing but I really like it and may well make another or even the tunic and take advantage of some of the great silks available here in HK that I always love looking at and never know what to do with.

Wednesday 25 August 2010

McCalls 6069 The Maxi Version

I don't know, I've failed to make any maxi dresses in the last 4 years or so that they have been around and suddenly I have made 2 in a row.

I'm off shortly for a few days summer vacation - I find I always want to make something new and I just felt like a maxi dress fit the bill. However I didn't want any bra issues with this one so I decided to use this McCall's 6069 dress pattern that I have made already and simply lengthen it.

Let me note that McCall's reckons the back strap is optional - er no it's not unless you want to chance the entire top of your dress falling off! I know I said I made this so I could wear a bra with it, but really! I had to attach the strap at the end so it's not as neat on the inside as it's supposed to be but it works. And more importantly my dress will stay on.

I used the jersey I bought at Elliott Berman on my recent shopping trip to New York. It's gorgeous quality and I am so glad I splurged on 3 yards , I only just had enough.

The dress is LOUD, but has a real holiday feel to it and I can't wait to wear it on my hols!

Tuesday 17 August 2010

More on the Maxi UFO - Butterick 4975

It was very satisfying finishing those pieces so quickly, however my sewing has since ground to a complete halt while I decide what to make next, so in the meantime here are some more details on the maxi dress.

This is the pattern, Butterick 4975 - now OOP.

I made the longer version but still had to shorten it by around 6 inches to stop the front dragging on the floor.

I left off the back zipper since it is a knit and instead added an elastic casing across the back just to make sure it stayed in place and covered my strapless bra.

For the same reason I ended up raising the front neckline a bit and covering the now non-gathered part with 3 cover buttons that I was able to make from the material I cut off the hem. The neckline is much more flattering when its left lower but until someone invents a low cut in front strapless bra that works in my size this will have to do!

My strap at the back neck turned out to be a bit long so I kept a long overlap, added a large snap and a decorative button on top to make it look symmetrical(ish).

Apparently after all the delays with the August Burda magazine, no copies are coming to Hong Kong at all. Oh well, from what I have seen and read I am not missing much but it will be the first gap in my collection since 2004. Lets hope they can get their acts together for the September issue - though from the preview photos, I have my doubts I'll want to sew anything from that one either.

Thursday 12 August 2010

Rescuing wardrobe orphans and UFOs

Plain knit tops - never the most exciting sewing projects but without them I tend to end up with a wardrobe of printed skirts and tops and no actual outfits to wear.

So I put some brown jersey to use and made 2 simple knit tops to rescue this orphaned skirt (Burda June 2008-121). I could sort of get away with matching it with black (for 2 years!!) as the brown in the zebra stripe is pretty dark, but brown is much better.

Top 1 - Jalie 2804 Empire Crossover Top
I think it took almost as long to thread my serger as it did to make this. Excellent draft and instructions, I've already cut another one from the purple remnants of the Donna Karan dress.

Top 2 - Burda 07/2006 - 121
I chose this pattern because it uses only a small amount of fabric which is all I had left after top 1 and lining a ufo dress. I added an additional band at the neckline from scraps to make it a bit more wearable, otherwise it is almost off the shoulder.

While my serger was threaded up with brown I had a rummage in my stash to see what else I could make and found not 1 but 2 UFOs hiding in there.

UFO 1 Skirt
This knit fabric came from Gorgeous Things and I initially made it into a long sleeved dress, but there is something about fall/winter print dresses that just don't work on me (see previous LindsayT-christened Mrs Doubtfire dress!). I had kept the skirt part because I thought the pieces were big enough to do something with and I really liked the print.

A mere two years or so later I had the highly unoriginal idea of just making it into a skirt - side seams, hem and elastic in the waistband and voila - one fall skirt.

UFO 2 Dress
This was Butterick 4975, now out of print - probably started when maxi dresses first became fashionable and now finished seconds before they go out of style again!

Weirdly it's another Gorgeous Things knit fabric. This project was halted in its tracks because I didn't have enough fabric for the self lined bodice and then I got sidetracked. More about this dress in my next post.

Thursday 5 August 2010

Another kiddie outfit

Thank you all for the comments on my Donna Karan dress, they came at just the right time. I went to an event where I knew there would be some impossibly glamorous fashionista women and although I was still a good foot shorter and 40lbs heavier I felt pretty confident in my new dress.

Somewhat less confidence boosting, but very funny, was the comment I received on the little girls dress I made saying how much my grand daughter would love it! Although this is biologically possible and I do take some lousy photos I am NOT a grandma!!

Anyway I figured that if I was going to post a parcel to the UK I may as well make it worthwhile so I made another little outfit. I hope I will get some photos of both outfits being worn and will post them here when I get them.

Burda 06/2006 - 135 Jacket

Burda 03/2007 - 135 Trousers